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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Belle Has Finally Overstayed His Chicago Welcome

November 01, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Bernie Lincicome in the Chicago Tribune: "What a special gift it is to be able to improve a place by leaving it. Warts. Weeds. Albert Belle. The list isn't that long.

"The 30-day window of Belle's, closing inexorably, even as we consider it, is just the, ahem, loophole, to give it an appropriately Chicago flavor the White Sox need. If Belle doesn't jump, maybe he could be pushed.

"I would suggest a reverse rally, maybe gathering all of the White Sox fans who did not go to the ballpark during the two seasons Belle has been here, although I don't know where to find enough room to get them all in one place. Montana maybe."

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Trivia time: Who holds the NFL record for touchdowns on kickoff returns in a season?

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Who cares? Art Spander in the Oakland Tribune: "When and if pro basketball does appear, will anyone be interested? The way I hear it, the Golden State Warriors have lost 10,000 season-ticket holders in five years. It doesn't take much to alienate sports fans.

"Neither, we're told, does it take much to regain them. Except this time, they'll be a long time coming back, both to the arenas and the television screens."

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Awful place: Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle noticed an ad in TV Guide for an 8-by-6-inch porcelain replica of Candlestick Park--now known as 3Com Park--that can be had for $47.50, plus sales tax, shipping and handling charges. He wrote:

"The Giants and 49ers, who are dying to ditch the place, might enjoy this statement in the ad: 'Candlestick Park will be admired by all who see it.' Like the Titanic, the Hindenburg and the Bridge on the River Kwai."

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How come? Brian O'Neill in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Penguin tickets cost $20-$70. Yet the team is broke. That has to be a more difficult feat on an ice rink than the triple axel."

New rules: Comedy writer Alan Ray, on gymnast Dominique Moceanu, 17, and her parents settling their dispute:

"The new arrangement includes a weekly allowance, provided Mom and Dad keep their rooms clean."

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The ultimate critic: Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez, on criticism by Chief quarterback Elvis Grbac after dropping three passes in Monday night's 20-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers:

"[That] was nothing compared to the tongue-lashing I got from my mom."

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Looking back: On this day in 1975, California upset previously unbeaten USC, 28-14, at Berkeley.

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Trivia answer: Travis Williams of Green Bay in 1967 and Cecil Turner of Chicago in 1970, four.

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And finally: David Casstevens of the Arizona Republic, writing on what he calls the "Bowl Confusion System" rankings:

"The BCS is a complex statistical formula devised by the Internal Revenue Service and leaked by the White House to confuse the public and direct our attention away from the pending presidential impeachment hearings.

"Between now and December, the BCS is guaranteed to produce many heated arguments, and an occasional stabbing."

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